On the record: Charlie Appleby, Zac Purton, Kazushi Kimura and more …

• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures

Horse Racing Charlie Appleby champion trainer
Charlie Appleby: annus mirabilis culminates in first UK trainers’ title. Graphic: Great British Racing

113 Charlie Appleby

GB: Although there are still a few weeks to go, Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby was crowned Britain’s champion trainer for the first time on Monday [Dec 6].

Although the championship runs on a calendar-year prize-money basis until December 31, Appleby, 46, has established an unassailable lead over initial front-runner Andrew Balding and his achievements were recognised at Monday’s HWPA Awards lunch in London.

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“It’s huge for myself and the team at Moulton Paddocks,” said Appleby, who has accrued £4.88m and 113 victories in the UK alone during a remarkable season featuring 17 G1 wins overall.

 “I’d have to say the King George win gave us the most satisfaction this year,” he added, speaking to Great British Racing. “We were very lucky to win the Derby again, but to repeat history in terms of Adayar going on to win the King George, which hadn’t been done in 20 years, that was a very proud moment for the team. A lot of people here at Moulton Paddocks took a lot of pleasure from that.”

1.58bn Zac Purton

Hong Kong: Zac Purton overtook Douglas Whyte’s all-time prize-money mark for a jockey on Sunday [Dec 5] when he completed a handicap double at Sha Tin with Millennium Falcon and Beauty Joy.

Purton ended the day with career money accrued of HK$1,588,025,566 (about £154m), thereby surpassing 13-time champion Whyte’s figure of HK$1,587,210,086.

With 1,341 career wins in Hong Kong, Purton leads the 2021-22 championship with 46 victories – 10 ahead of Joao Moreira – as he chases a fifth title. 

Purton said Whyte’s record haul of wins remains a target. “I think 1,800 wins is gettable,” he said. “By the time I get to the end of this season, I should be at 1,400 and it’s not too far away from there. It gives me something to think about, anyhow.”

138 Kazushi Kimura

Canada: Kazushi Kimura has landed his first jockey crown at Canada’s premier track, Woodbine, where the 2021 season ended on Sunday [Dec 5].

Hokkaido-born Kimura won 138 races for $6.36m prize-money at the Toronto venue. “It’s a special achievement, and it was one of my dreams,” said Kimura, 22. “Everybody wants to be a leading rider, but it’s not easy.”

Kimura joined the Woodbine jockey colony as a 19-year-old in 2018 and won an Eclipse Award as leading apprentice in 2019; he won eight stakes at Woodbine this year. Mark Casse topped the trainers’ list for the 13th time with 110 wins, 27 of them in stakes company.

300 Kim Hye-Sun

South Korea: Kim Hye-Sun, South Korea’s most successful female jockey, passed the 300-winner milestone when she rode a four-timer at Busan on Sunday November 28.

Nicknamed ‘Super Peanut’, she reached the 300-mark with a dead-heat in Race 4 as fast-finishing Daeseung E caught Flashy Charm.

Kim, 33, is married to fellow rider Park Jae-I, who had ridden a treble on Friday. Having made her debut in 2009, she became the first woman to ride a Korean Classic winner when she took the 2017 Korean Oaks on Jeju Haneul.

After 20 months’ maternity leave, she returned to the saddle in April this year following the birth of her first son in July 2020.

3 Todd Pletcher

USA: Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher recorded an unlikely hat-trick at Aqueduct on Saturday [Dec 4] when he won three graded stakes in a row – and all three winners had to survive stewards’ inquiries and/or objections.

Highlight was Americanrevolution (Luis Saez), who landed his first G1 success in the $750,000 Cigar Mile with a narrow verdict over Pletcher-trained stable companion Following Sea. The trainer also won the G2 Remsen with Mo Donegal and the G2 Demoiselle with Nest.

112 Ryan Moore

GB: After winning six different qualifying races on five different horses in four different countries, Ryan Moore has won the title of 2021 Longines-sponsored World’s Best Jockey for the third time. Ballydoyle’s retained rider also won in 2014 and 2016.

The IFHA award is determined on a points basis based on results in the top 100 G1 races (based on IFHA ratings) for a 12-month period following last year’s Hong Kong International Races.

Bizarrely, however, this is not decided on a proper calendar-year basis, as this weekend’s HKIR races actually count for the 2022 award. Confused?

Be that as it may, Moore won six qualifying events: HK Vase (Mogul), Al Quoz Sprint (Extravagant Kid), Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Love), Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Dream of Dreams), Coral-Eclipse (St Mark’s Basilica) and Irish Champion Stakes (St Mark’s Basilica).

With points accrued for top three placings, Moore finished with a total of 112, eight ahead of William Buick (104) with James McDonald next on 96.

However, McDonald is world #1 on the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary Global Rankings, which better assess overall current performance in Pattern races rather than merely a select few races.

8 Bob Baffert

USA: Eda’s half-length victory under Juan Hernandez in the Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on Saturday [Dec 4] was a fifth consecutive winner of the G1 contest for Bob Baffert and his eighth overall, equalling the record of D Wayne Lukas in the race formerly known as the Hollywood Starlet.

Baffert’s most recent three winners – Bast, Varda and Eda – all carried the colours of the Baomo Corporation.

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